Are we too negative?


Above: An iconic Erie image

I’d like to share some thought from the “Inside Erie” column written by Erie Times-News columnist Pat Howard– and read by myself and many other Erie natives who no longer live there.

He writes this week about something I’ve observed a number of times – folks from Erie (and a number of other Rust Belt communities) can be pretty negative about their hometowns. And it sometimes seems that the loudest complainers are those who’ve never left.

But people who have lived elsewhere (i.e. Erie natives who’ve lived in California and then returned to Erie) can have a better perspective on what’s positive about their town.

Read what he has to say and see if you agree.



Filed under Economic Development, Editorial, Headline, regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs, The Media

5 responses to “Are we too negative?

  1. Rob

    The debacle with the “most miserable city” nonsense and the subsequent #happyinCLE response leads me to believe that there are two polarized extremes at work in Cleveland: haters who like to bash Cleveland for the sake of bashing it (the misery loves company crowd), and boosters who are hell-bent on defending every nugget of good that exists in the city (the over-defensive big brother crowd). But where is the middle? Where are the people who are willing to say, “yeah, this city has got a hell of a lot of serious problems that need to be addressed, but those problems aren’t reason enough to hate everything about it”?

    I think it would be an interesting social experiment to name a whole bunch of different cities the most miserable and observe the response? Do locals flip out and go wild trying to defend their city? Do they laugh it off as nonsense? Or something in-between?

  2. Absolutely true. If you think your city sucks, try taking a 6 month contract job in some rural small town 100+ miles away from any city.

    When you are through out there, coming back to Cleveland will seem like paradise.


  3. Special K

    Rob- I like to think we at Rust Wire are the happy medium- people who are realistic about the challenges our cities face, yet also realizing their enormous potential and the many good qualities they have.

  4. I grew up in the Cleveland area, moved away after grad school, and returned three years later. Why? Cost of living. I could buy a big house on a decent-sized lot in an inner-ring suburb with great schools for what I would have paid for a 900 square foot rowhouse that needed a full gut in a lousy neighborhood in Baltimore.

    The problem with Cleveland, as with any place, is that you don’t really know the assets and liabilities of it until you spend some time elsewhere.

    Here in the rust belt, we’ve got great houses at reasonable prices, close to good school. The catch is being able to find a job.

  5. tonyg

    hey the photo! you knew I’d have to say something! The lead unit in the shot is a very old GE “U-boat” build in the 60’s to early 70’s. They pre-date me at the loco works…They had a terrible reputation. The shot is up 19th street, and yes the RR used this route up to the early 90’s I believe.

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